Apr 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau launched a focused marketing program to the Chinese market with the private sector as the tourist arrivals from that country continued to soar.
Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Rohantha Athukorala launched the program "Sri Lanka in my eyes" that will target the Chinese market on their networks WE CHAT and WEIBO at a function at the Hilton Hotel in the presence of Deputy Head of Chinese Mission in Colombo Ren Faqiang.
Arrivals from China compared to last year increased 81.5 percent in March this year with the arrival of 13,975 visitors. Cumulatively, 53,135 Chinese tourists arrived in the first quarter this year registering a growth of 84.5%.
The Deputy Head of Mission Re said he likes the aggressive but focused strategy of the Sri Lanka Tourism in China.
"It is well-thought through and moreover, accountable for delivery of results, Already you are having access to five key markets and now that you are focusing on testing a market development programme on the Shi-shuan Province is commendable given the accessibility for direct air travel between Chengdu and Colombo," he commented.
Sri Lanka is targeting 200,000 tourists from China this year making it the number two market for Sri Lanka tourism beating the traditional market of UK for the history of Sri Lanka, said the Chairman Athukorala.
"But I am concerned why the formal sector occupancy is not reflective of the hype in the numbers. The reality is that the informal tourism sector is benefiting heavily by the current marketing strategies. We must see how this can be corrected with some strategic partnerships with blue chip companies post board approval," he noted.